Friday, July 2, 2004

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The most profitable blog in history

Until recently, Jessica Cutler was an undeniably attractive twentysomething staffer for Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio). For most of the month of May, Cutler blogged anonymously as Washingtonienne. The posts mostly recounted various alleged trysts with various men -- some of them involved money changing hands -- some of whom were allegedly high-ranking administration officials.

In late May, DeWine fired Cutler from her $25,000 position for "unacceptable use of Senate computers," and Cutler stopped blogging. The Washington Post's Richard Leiby and (the undeniably attractive) Wonkette covered this in detail at the time.

Yesterday, the New York Times reported the following:

Ms. Cutler has taken what, for generations of young women who have become involved with the powerful, has been the next logical step. She has become a writer. Yesterday she sold a novel based on her exploits to HyperionDisney (Walt). Her agent, Michael Carlisle of Carlisle & Company, said the price was "a substantial six figures," and Hyperion would not be more specific. Not only did he sell her novel, he said, but she will also pose nude for the November issue of Playboy. Ms. Cutler's novel will be called "The Washingtonienne," after the name of her blog. Mr. Carlisle said that Ms. Cutler would not speak to the press until the book was published, perhaps a year from now.

Wonkette has more dirt:

About that Washingtonienne book deal: We hear the bidding started Tuesday at $75K, based on a 25 page proposal (described as "pretty f***ing twisted"). A dozen houses went for it, and she wound up with a cool $300-f***ing-000.

So, basically, Cutler got a $300,000 return on approximately two weeks worth of blogging.

Readers are invited to suggest ways for other bloggers to make that kind of scratch involving blogging that do not involve a) cheating on spouses; or b) committing a felony.

posted by Dan on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM


You find her attractive? I would have expected higher standards of you, sir.. Oh, well, there's no accounting for taste.

posted by: Sissy Willis on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

Jeebus, the VRWC women have been catty as hell about this. She didn't start up with the men for the book deal. She got ratted out (by herself), got fired, and made the best of it. We should all be so resilient.

posted by: SomeCallMeTim on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

Every time I hear about this story, I think of the woman's parents.

Your daughter goes off to Washington to work for a Senator -- and lets politicos bang her in her rear for money. And then she brags about it, and writes a book detailing it & like episodes.

Of course, she may just be a chip off the block!!

posted by: Twn on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

Based on her exploits, may I suggest the pen name of "Jessica Buttler" ?

posted by: fingerowner on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

perhaps you can make some extra $$$ by showcasing those who do endeavor self-involvement in a), b) or best yet a & b + a few other variants of the alphabet.

On the links and the pics all I can say is "Dude....". Not Selma, but the reachable reality aspect does spurn a bit more twang.

posted by: Jon on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

Yeah, how dare the VRWC women object to someone who had sex with six guys in two weeks and flaunts it, then profits from it?

Tim, have you considered that they might object to this because it's people like Jessica Butler who cause some men to think of women as only sex objects and not as people to be taken seriously on an intellectual level? And I don't think one has to be a social conservative to have problems with a woman who had sex with six guys in two weeks.

Dan, she looks like someone who's been "overworked" and wouldn't be looking so pretty in a few years.

posted by: Hei Lun Chan on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

Actually, she's just barely attractive, and that's in a flattering photo. In real life, that type is usually rather plain. This is just what I would have expected from reading her blog.

The beautiful girls can hook these men without all the dirty stuff and drama.

posted by: K on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

What's with the "UPDATE: Oh, whatever." on Wonkette's post? Doesn't seem to be too thrilled by the whole thing.

posted by: C Bassett on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]


Post tomorrow's winning numbers for the PowerBall. I'll buy the ticket and cut you in for, say, 10%.

It'll take you less than a minute, not involve a felony or cheating, and think of the return you'll get for 1 minute of work.

Trust me.

I vote(d) for Bush.

posted by: IdeaGuy on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

Fortunately, I don't need to make any money off my blog, as I explained here a while ago.

posted by: Dan Simon on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

Even Bette Midler, someone who is hardly a member of Jerry Fallwell’s congregation, is stunned by the outrageous behavior of the much younger Paris Hilton. She cannot imagine showing her face in public if there was a porno video of her having sex available for sale. Jessica Cutler is simply a whore. This slut deserves our contempt and ridicule. Even someone who is a theological liberal, such as myself, should have no hesitation in stating the obvious.

posted by: David Thomson on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

In Japan, her story is almost nothing treated in mass media.
Is this news becoming bigger in USA?

posted by: rtf on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

Am I the only one who finds many of the comments on this thread unparsable? (I almost said 'impenetrable' then thought better of it.)

I find the outrage silly...I mean, it's a small story that got big because it happened in a self-involved & insulated community.

Six guys in two weeks? Sure, it's too many. But if nothing else, the whole episode should give the Freudean/Foucauldian close-readers a whole lot of material about power structures & ciphers.

Though I think Martin Amis covered the territory a decade ago in London Fields.

Enjoying your site, by the way, Prof. Drezner.

posted by: Spencer on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

The author of the Julie/Julia Project blog at Salon ended up with a six figure book deal, but then she wrote that blog for a year, not just for six weeks or whatever.

posted by: xian on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

Capitalism works best because of its degenerates then again,

a whoremonger is much more appealing than a warmonger,

I guess the right-wing nihilist that hang out at this warmongering watering hole wouldn't know anything about that...

being a self-rightious snob in the face of a hot little slut while being whores to power and war come naturaly to you "guys"

posted by: NeoDude on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

One word. Parody! Check out this Bill Clinton parody site. It has links too and should make a nice killing selling books.

posted by: Limp on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

Yeah, how dare the VRWC women object to someone who had sex with six guys in two weeks and flaunts it, then profits from it?

It's not just this.

It's also the fact that the message Wonkette and Washingtonienne sends is that for a woman to be successful in the blogosphere, all she needs to do is look attractive, talk slutty and boom. Book deals, links on and elsehwhere. And if you complain about this obvious problem and are female, you're called "catty" or worse.

Im saddened by Reynold/Jarvis/Drezner's decisions to keep linking to them. They're unworthy and debase their fine blogs.

posted by: h0mi on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

Hei, hOmi:

Spare me.

What did she do wrong? As I recall, events were as follow.

1. She slutted around a bit. Fairly normal for someone her age. Maybe she did it more than most, but it's her body and, as long as she enjoyed it, good for her. When I was 26, six women in 2 weeks was an undreamable dream - as it is for every 26 year old straight man.

2. One of her partners was older and richer, and he bought her things. Wow, younger woman with older, richer man - that never happens. At your next Pub fundraiser, look at the arm candy with the CEOs.

3. She wrote a blog about it. Pretty cool - the line "[a] man who tries to f**k you in the a** when you are sober does not love you" remains one of my favorite sentences of the year. I still laugh about it. She apparently gave too many details, but that's the sort of little stupidity of which we've all been guilty.

4. She got caught and fired. Not her doing.

5. She didn't whine about being tricked by the men into this, or being abused by the media that published it. She didn't beg that the media think of her parents. She didn't name names. She didn't cry that she was being effectively forced to leave town. Instead, she owned up to her behavior and accepted the results with a laugh. An act of pure grace. Name a single political figure, left or right, who has acted as well when caught cheating on his or her spouse.

6. Having been outed and embarrassed, and having had the worst of the moralists beatings, she made the best of the situation and came away with 300K. Good for her.

Precisely what was it that she did above that was so terrible?

As for the VRWC women worrying that she's making it harder for women to be taken seriously - please. I know I've seen breast shots associated with A Small Victory, and glamour shots of some of the other VRWC women. I know that the blog ads on a number of the warblogs have attractive women dressed quasi-provacatively. I know Anne Coulter isn't famous for her prose. I know Michelle Malkin's pretty picture has a "little" to do with her popularity. I know there's a GOP site with Republican babes-of-the-week. And I know that Rush's use of the word "feminazi" isn't meant to further empower the women on the right.

I hope she makes more on the sequel.

posted by: SomeCallMeTim on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

If the allegation is true that money changed hands in exchange for sexual favors, then clearly that is a problem, especially in the context of political life. When sex and dollars are thrown around for the personal gain of public officials that just widens the credibility gap.

Of course I'm not so naive to believe that this stuff doesn't and hasn't happened on a somewhat regular basis, and having both worked on the Hill during the impeachment ordeal and attended a college that had a similar "crisis" I know full well how things work.

But if these private misdeeds which are harmful to public living aren't condemned by the mainstream, all we do is allow authority to corrupt itself even further. Then again, I'm sure there are some people out there who are just fine with that.

posted by: Razzen on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

Hey Tim,

Can you point to some of thise breast shots assciated with A Small Victory? Heh

posted by: Buck smith on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

Life is fair, that kind of money doesn't come cheap. The life lesson she learned here is one I wouldn't wish on anyone's daughter. In five years, she'll have burned through that money while double-crossing everyone she knows and marketing herself as a prostitute. Not long thereafter, she'll be giving hand jobs for cash.

It's a shame to see a young, impressionable girl throw herself off the edge while others cheer them on.

posted by: Some Guy on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

"Im saddened by Reynold/Jarvis/Drezner's decisions to keep linking to them. They're unworthy and debase their fine blogs." I agree. It's also curious that they are women you appear to very saliciously love to hate. Yeah, it was dumb to write about the stuff while on work time. But, the big fascination seems to be 6 guys in 2 weeks! And, while licking your lips and imagining what that must be like, you are verbally saying my oh my surely she'll be punished and grow old before her time. It's like, you want to to make sure SHE is punished because the idea of it makes YOU hot.

posted by: lola on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

She didn't get 300K for the book. Wonkette is on crack.

posted by: anonymous on 07.02.04 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

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